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MMORPG.com Staff Blog

The staff of MMORPG.com gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

Author: staffblog

Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Community Spotlight: Magic System

Posted by MikeB Monday December 16 2013 at 12:51AM
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In this week's Community Spotlight, we focus on the thread, "What's type of magic system would you in a MMORPG?" by Vermillion_Raventhal:

Do you like contained classes that you're pretty much blocked into magic abilities? Would you like one like UO were you have a singular spellbook that everyone can use as much or little as you one? Do you prefer open schools of magic that you can mix and match like M59 or Skyrim? Or would you prefer another system?

BadSpock appears to lean towards class-based systems:

Corp Por! Kal Vas Flam!

Pick and choose magic systems = everyone uses the exact same "proven best" spells.

Balance is always an issue.

FOTM is a problem etc.

Class based is certainly more restrictive, and also difficult to balance, but you have a much better chance at balance + build diversity instead of balance or build diversity.

Enrif offers a unique twist of his own:

Some years ago i planned on some stuff for making a game, but i never made it to an developer.

One thing of that was about skills.Basicly a "Learn and Forget" system

You start with 0% at everything. but when you play you gain up to 100% cumulativ knowledge in skills. 

But its not a point and click to get those % up. You have to actual use the skills and maintain them. Want to "respec" start using other stuff until you reached the point what you want. But while doing so, your unused skills decay. So you will never have two skills above 50%. You can go super Focused or spread your skills. But higher percentage doesent give "stronger" spells, but more spells of that skillline with new and different effects.

Examples:

50% Fire Magic, 50% Water magic =100% skills

or

99%Dark Magic, 1%Illusion Magic = 100% skills

or

54% Melee, 16%Light Magic, 30%Nature Magic = 100% Skills

or

10% in ten different skills = 100%skills

or 

100% in Airmagic = 100%skills

P.S.:

An additional system to that above  is a combo skill system that starts if 2 skilllines are above 33%.

If say you have fire and earth at 40% and air at 20%, you gain acces to special Fire-Earth combo skills.

if you have 3 skillines at 33% you get the very first of the comboskills and additional triple skills.

Example you have 33% in fire, earth and air you will get fire-earth, earth-air and air-fire combo skills and fire-earth-air tripple skills.

Jemcrystal prefers the freedoms offered by games like Skyrim and Mabinogi:

Skyrim's way.  And the mmo Mabinogi.  In Skyrim you buy what you want to learn with perks.  In Mabinogi you buy what you want to learn with AP.  Anything you want to learn.  Tho in vanilla Mab you had to go to school which I liked.  A school system.  I can see why others might want to forget school exists in fantasy tho.  I am all about options and free choices and not being forced into a set way of doing things.

Years ago I thought I preferred completely freeform style skill systems, but nowadays I actually enjoy having distinct classes with their own identity and this would apply to magic classes as well. I would like to see some unique twists put on the actual use of magic in MMOs. I feel a Magicka-style system where spells are created from combinations of base spells would be interesting, for one.

What's your take? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

aspekx writes:

Ryzom has a good system using your last comment where you have a series of base spells and you can combine them into one spell for a specific purpose. this included damage as well as healing spells. but each component had a mana cost so you had to balance the spell out between cost and effectiveness.

one of the tweaks Ryzom had with this was range for the spell. range was considered a base component with its own costs.

Mon Dec 16 2013 4:12AM Report
BTrayaL writes: Agreed, Ryzom's system was really cool, I haven't played much, but what I did play was maybe 70% game, 30% tweaking my skills/spells. Mon Dec 16 2013 12:26PM Report

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